Tennis analyst Arthur Worth “Bud” Collins has died. He was 86.
Collins, who worked at ESPN, NBC and CBS, began his career writing for several Boston-area newspapers. Where the journalist truly made a mark was within his chosen sport of tennis, which he also played and coached as well as covered.
The flamboyant Collins actually won the 1961 U.S. Indoor Mixed Doubles Championship with Janet Hopps, and was a finalist in the French Senior doubles with Jack Crawford 14 years later. He coached tennis at Brandeis University.
In 1999, Collins was honored with the Associated Press Sports Editors’ Red Smith Award — America’s most prestigious sportswriting honor. He was inducted in the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 2002, eight years after he made the Tennis Hall of Fame.
Collins also wrote several books on the racket sport, as well as a memoir. He is survived by his wife, Anita Ruthling Klaussen, a photographer.
“A legend and a gentleman with a unique style, Bud’s analysis and on-court interviews were must-see TV for millions of American tennis fans,” an NBC Sports spokesperson told TheWrap. “In more than three decades with NBC Sports, he was a beloved colleague and friend. We offer our condolences to his family and friends.”
Here are some tweets in tribute:
My favorites in tennis were Bud Collins and the remarkably gifted Tony Trabert. Tony, a former player but historian made the US Open on CBS.
— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) March 4, 2016
For anyone who’s dared to be colorful in their work or life, Bud Collins was the man who led the way. RIP Bud, thanks for being who you were
— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) March 4, 2016
RIP Bud Collins. A tennis icon and just the sweetest man. And he knew how to rock a pair of pants. #irreplaceable
— James LaRosa (@JamesLaRosa) March 4, 2016
When I first met Bud Collins I was a total fanboy. I grew up watching him so how could I not be?… https://t.co/fnRoMgwsFg
— LZ Granderson (@Locs_n_Laughs) March 4, 2016
— Prim Siripipat (@ESPNPrim) March 4, 2016
.@BudCollins news crushing. He was so smart, funny, generous – being on the tennis beat in the Era of Bud remains a highlight of my career.
– Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) March 4, 2016